Aymen Barkok battles for the ball.
First team | March 1, 2024, 08:29 PM

Hertha draw against Holstein Kiel

Pál Dárdai made three changes from the side that started last time out at Braunschweig, with Haris Tabaković coming into the starting XI, along with youngsters Linus Gechter and Ibrahim Maza (the latter making his first start in the 2. Bundesliga).

Tabaković shows his goalscoring prowess 

Hertha started brightly, with Fabian Reese having a couple of speculative efforts from distance early on. The capital club made the most of their first real chance, as Tabaković pounced on an underhit backpass from Kiel defender Philipp Sander and rounded the ‘keeper to give his side the lead (17’).

The visitors looked for a quick response, with a Lewis Holtby effort sailing over the bar (19’) and Finn Porath seeing his shot blocked by Gechter (23’), but Hertha remained a threat on the break despite this pressure, and it would be the capital club who found the net next. Palkó Dárdai crossed for Tabaković, and, despite his initial effort being saved, the striker was able to follow up on the rebound as Hertha headed into the break with a two-goal advantage.

Pálko Dárdai crosses the ball.

Kenny hits the bar

The start of the second half was largely similar to the first – much of the play took place in Hertha territory, and Kiel carved out a couple of half-chances, but Hertha came closest to scoring in the opening salvo of the second period, with a well-struck Jonjoe Kenny free-kick cannoning back off the bar from 35 yards (59’).

The second half would be far from plain sailing for Hertha, as Kiel finally made their pressure pay in the 81st minute through a deflected strike from Finn Porath, setting up a nervy ending. It looked as though the hosts would hold on for the three points, but Holstein were awarded a penalty in the dying embers of stoppage time after a contentious VAR check, and duly converted to break Hertha hearts and ensure the points were shared.

Linus Gechter, who was involved in the penalty incident, spoke to the press after the game: "I didn't feel like I made contact with him. It's even more annoying that it happened in the last minute. It was bizarre, but that's football. We just have to move on from it. Conceding in the final minute makes this feel like a defeat."

Hertha BSC: Ernst – Kenny, Gechter, Leistner (C), Karbownik – Klemens, Barkok (Dudziak 62’) – P. Dárdai (Winkler 72’), Maza (Prevljak 62’), Reese (Scherhant 90+2’)– Tabaković

Holstein Kiel: Weiner – T. Becker, Erras, Kleine-Bekel, Komenda (Rothe 68’) – Sander (C) (M. Schulz 68’) – Porath, Holtby (Fridjonsson 77’), Remberg (Niehoff 46’) – Machino (Bernhardsson 46’), Mees

Goals: 1-0 Tabaković (17’), 2-0 Tabaković (45’), 2-1 Porath (81’), 2-2 Becker (90+8’, pen)

Referee: Bastian Dankert

Yellow Cards: Barkok, Reese, Winkler – Sander, Mees, Erras

Attendance: 46,835